So I've recently seen the original miniseries to prepare myself for the new series whenever it shows here, and I guess I've got a couple of thoughts (anyone mind if I hijack the thread rather than create another? Hypothetical 'No?' Hooray!), and since the new series is trying to tone down any connection the story might have to modern American politics, I tried to tease a couple of possibilites one could raise using the original miniseries.
* There's an offhand comment by the black worker that he's already competing for jobs with whites and Mexicans, never mind these aliens. In that context the aliens would work well as an analogy for illegal immigration, though doubtless an arch-conservative one since they're literally out for world domination and are up to no good!
* An alien suggests that they got a bad leader because he was very charismatic and persuasive, which is basically a key component for any successful democratic leader (it's not like he was a general who just turned his guns on the Visitor civilian government, though he may have also
done so). This tack could easily be expanded into a critique of any democratic government, particularly whichever one is in power.
* An invading force masks its intents with airs of benevolence as the superior civilized society, but really all they want to do is to take a vital and much needed supply from this land. Water, oil, easy-to-write geopolitics seminar America is Bad 101. Etc.
That's all I got. The miniseries itself? Well, I liked it. The first half was a lot better than the second half, though - the sheer scope of the initial appearance of the aliens and how that slowly morphed into something far more menacing was nicely played. The second half is dependent on being a story where our rag-tag group of fresh-faced suburbanites pull of a number of implausible stunts to win the day and suffers therefore a little more in the icredibility department (though given the very first scene with a reporter staring down a helicopter I probably shouldn't complain) but it's a very solid part too, ending fairly conclusively but establishing some nice plot points
A nice touch were references to real world personalities and science fiction - the idea that Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke (R.I.P., old genius you) would be on TV bloviating about alien life is one of the most realistic things about this miniseries, and the idea a marching band would strike up a rendition of John William's Star Wars music was similarly natural.
Oddly, I really disliked the idea the aliens were really reptilian, because the more I heard about it the less sense it made. I could understand them wanting to appear human to the humans, but why do they keep up the charade in private, talking to each other? You'd at least think they'd let the proverbial hair down and take off the damn contacts or something. It seems partly out of a desire to make the Visitors more alien (but still cost-effective) and give us a 'Big Reveal', but the idea that people should be more repelled by them because they're less human than implied - as the elderly lady articulated - does strike me as vaguely disgusting (especially since dialogue in the second part establishes their humanity - that collaborator explaining how his people got duped by a charismatic leader is every bit as reptilian and monstrous the icky Diana).
Also I've had a look at the trailer for the new series, and in that
version the reptilians actually lived among us prior to arriving on the planet (which, in fairness, the original V
may have pulled in subsequent incarnations - did it?), and this turns my half-hearted view of the reptilian thing as an analogy to lizardmen conspiracy theories to... well, basically a TV version of the lizardmen conspiracy theories. This makes me honestly quite uncomfortable, but well, we'll see.
Well, it'll be interesting to see how much of this if any makes its way to the new show. I hear the new show is calling the Visitors 'V', which is completely missing the point of the use of the letter in this miniseries and rather unfortunate, to be honest.